In the Heat of the Night

In the Heat of the Night

Norman Jewison (1967)

12 Certificate


Our Score
Winner of five Oscars, including best picture, this powerhouse drama about racial tension in the Deep South was released at the height of the civil rights movement and a year before the assassination of Martin Luther King. Sidney Poitier plays the immaculately dressed Philadelphia cop who is wrongly arrested for murder while changing trains in a small town in Mississippi. His situation is made worse by the fact that the police department is run by Rod Steiger's bigoted police chief. The plot is a set-up, a stacked deck, yet the atmosphere is palpably unpleasant, and Poitier and Steiger have a field day. A major movie for its time, it spawned two further films and a TV series featuring Poitier's character.


When a wealthy industrialist is murdered in Mississippi, the bigoted local sheriff is quick to accuse a black newcomer to town - only to learn his suspect is a highly respected homicide detective from Philadelphia. However, the duo are forced to put aside their mutual loathing and team up to track down the killer. Oscar-winning drama, starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger and Warren Oates.

Cast & Crew

Virgil Tibbs Sidney Poitier
Bill Gillespie Rod Steiger
Sam Wood Warren Oates
Dolores Purdy Quentin Dean
Webb Schubert William Schallert
Philip Colbert Jack Teter
Mrs Leslie Colbert Lee Grant
Harvey Oberst Scott Wilson
Director Norman Jewison
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: United Artists Corp. LtdGuidance: Contains violence and swearing. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray